Business school is a roller coaster ride of highs and lows, successes and failures, new experiences and drudgery, but amidst all of the hard work and excitement, I have experienced a few defining moments that make the wild extremes worth it. On Monday April 2nd I experienced one of those moments.
Around 6:45pm a hush fell over a room of 120 students, alumni, and faculty as they listened to Kristen McCormack speak. Everyone had gathered to honor Kristen McCormack’s 10-year tenure as the Faculty Director of the Public and Nonprofit Management Program (PNP). Gerry Leader described recruiting Kristen 10 years ago because the Boston University faculty desired to revitalize the PNP program. Looking around the room it was clear to see that Kristen had far exceeded their expectations. Kristen used her entrepreneurial spirit, devotion to experiential learning, connections throughout Boston and her love for people to help the PNP program thrive.
While Kristen took a few minutes to thank her mentors, peers, and students, I surveyed the faces in the room. It was so inspiring to see all the faces filled with adoration and respect, and to know that my face and heart reflected that same sentiment. I knew that there was such a high level of loyalty and devotion in the room because Kristen had modeled the way by spending countless hours recruiting, mentoring, challenging, and encouraging us.
Once the formal part of the program ended, guests stayed for another two hours, networking, chatting and enjoying a reunion of like-hearted people. As I left I reflected on Kristen’s strengths. She is definitely a strong and visionary leader, but perhaps her biggest strength is empowering others to dream big, try new things, and to never give up on making a difference.
Anya Thomas is a second year MBA in the Public Nonprofit management program with a concentration in Leadership and Organizational Transformation. She loves traveling, salsa dancing, and networking in Boston.